Even with ten men Inter still the best in Milan
Inter Milan’s Walter Samuel (R) heads the ball to score against AC Milan
MILAN, Italy ● Ten-man Inter Milan survived a second-half assault by city rivals AC Milan to win 1-0 at the San Siro Sunday and claim their 50th Milan derby win in Serie A.
Inter and Milan began the match, the 157th to be played between the sides in Serie A, with 49 wins apiece.
However it was Inter who emerged with the bragging rights after Argentinian Walter Samuel stunned a large majority of the 73,000 crowd with a fourth-minute opener.
Inter striker Antonio Cassano, who moved to Inter in the close season and was the subject of boos and jeers throughout the match, won a freekick for an innocuous challenge on the left wing.
Esteban Cambiasso stepped up and sent in a deep cross that evaded the entire Milan defence, including ‘keeper Christian Abbiati, and was met at the far post by a diving Samuel.
Five minutes later Inter spurned a golden chance to double their lead when Abbiati somehow gave the ball away to Diego Milito but the Argentine striker fluffed two chances to beat the Milan ‘keeper.
Inter’s early lead injected some urgency into Milan and they went on to dominate the opening half, albeit creating only one real scoring chance.
Stephan El Shaarawy’s effort was blocked under pressure after a good assist by Kevin Prince Boateng and then El Shaarawy did well to set up Urby Emanuelson to the right of goal only for the Dutchman to fail to make contact.
On 33 minutes Inter were even gifted another chance when El Shaarawy lost the ball to Uruguayan Walter Gargano and the ball found its way to Milito, with an alert Mario Yepes coming to Milan’s rescue.
Three minutes later Emanuelson maintained possession and set up Boateng, who spurned the chance to level when he sent his shot wide of Slovenian Samir Handanovic from only 15 yards.
Inter coach Andrea Stramaccioni replaced Coutinho with Colombian midfielder Fredy Guarin for the start of the second half but was soon reshuffling when Yuto Nagatomo was sent off for handball, having been cautioned in the first half.
Cassano was then replaced by Alvaro Pereira and Allegri signalled his desire to capitalise on their advantage by sending midfielder Robinho on for wingback De Sciglio.
With Inter content to soak up the pressure and launch counter-attacks, Milan were soon dominating and the trio of Boateng, Robinho and Bojan brought promise.
However the goal Milan were searching for remained elusive.
Midfielder Riccardo Montolivo finally managed to keep one of his drives down and when Handanovic could only parry, Bojan picked up the rebound and delivered a cross which Boateng, at the far post, bicycle kicked over the crossbar.
Moments later another Montolivo missile was saved by Handanovic but when an alert Bojan got to the ball he lost his footing.
Allegri replaced El Shaarawy with Pazzini but the Italy striker was found wanting when Robinho’s long cross found him unmarked at the far post.
Emanuelson then sent an angled drive just a foot past Handanovic’s post and 10 minutes before the whistle Pazzini missed another chance when Robinho headed Boateng’s ball back towards goal.
Milan had appeals for a penalty rejected late on after Pazzini had slipped the ball through to Robinho, who tumbled in the area.
And in a final flurry Handanovic saved from the feet of Robinho, only for the referee to whistle for an earlier foul.